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Saturday, 18 January 2014

End of an Era

There is truly no way for me to put into words how I am feeling right now...but this would be a terrible blog post if I didn't at least attempt it. Global Village Backpackers, where I worked for 2 years and lived for an irrelevant amount of time, is set to close. I received a text from a friend of mine about it and immediately went to my source for fact checking any sort of news nowadays (Facebook) and lo and behold, there were several posts from friends of mine still in Toronto about it. Some of them still living in the hostel, now having to find new digs. Some who are now also unemployed. Others who simply came to the bar and found a chilled out place to hang. It is a sad, sad day.

BUT! Let us not wallow in what could have been, let us revel in what was. And what it was, to quote an anonymous review from Hostelworld last year, was 'an historic dream of a hostel'. I know people may think I am somewhat biased but I have travelled a lot, I've stayed in a lot of different hostels in a LOT of different cities and I can honestly say the GVB was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Before anyone starts rising with indignant protests, let me finish. It is by no means the cleanest hostel ever stayed in, but it is not the dirtiest. There were 2 types of people who stayed here; people who couldn't look past the faults and people who couldn't give a shit about the faults so long as the other guests, staff and the atmosphere made up for it.

Scrolling through my friends and photos on Facebook, the last 2 years of my life have been centred around that place. I can't even begin to list all of the people that I met who made a difference in my life in some way, whether they were there for months, weeks or just days. Some of them were crazies who gave us interesting stories to tell afterwards; some who were whirlwinds of positive energy who blasted through; some who were just simply the kind of people that make travelling worthwhile and who you know you will keep in touch with for the rest of your life. There are far too many for me to name personally (and I would run the risk of forgetting someone!) but anyone who is taking the time to read this will know who you are.

There were good times, bad times, happy times, sad times. I fell in love, had my heart broken, got drunk and suffered some of the worst hangovers of my life. I met some great people and I met some absolute jerks. I made friends who I know I will treasure and who helped me to learn more about myself, who I am and who I want to be. Long live the memory of Global Village Backpackers - it's been emotional.


6 comments:

  1. The patio was a great spot to stop and have a drink.

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  2. This is such a shame! Like you said the place wasn't exactly the cleanest but hey look how many people had an awesome time there, found jobs and it helped them move on to better things, myself included... I hope they don't replace with some meaningless condo or bar... miss your face by the way potato ;)

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  3. Are there any people left without a place to stay?
    HitTheRoad.ca would like to help.
    Please contact us.

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  4. Thanks guys! Best if you contact the hostel directly 416 703 8540 or email the manager sally@globalbackpackers.com

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  5. Hi Helena,

    I'm a reporter for the Toronto Star and I'm writing about the hostel closing.

    I'd love to hear your memories. Can you get in touch today (Monday, Jan. 20)? gkarstenssmith@thestar.ca or 416.814.2794.

    Thanks!

    -Gemma

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  6. This place was my home for 3 months, and was the start of a life changing experience. Nearly 10 years have passed since then, but I'll always treasure the experience. What a hostel.

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